Double-cover

The Charlatan Volume 41, Issue 3.

We put our final issue of the summer to bed today . . . and what an issue it was.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Charlatan, we typically run a front cover (shocking, I know) and either a full-page ad or just another page of content on the back. At least that’s how it has been for my three years at Carleton.

Today, after extensive discussions within our editorial staff, we decided to run a front and back cover, as you can see.

Why? We had two great photos and two huge stories: the Bluesfest stage collapsing (plus all our other coverage of the festival) and the Ravens football revival. Both options presented pros and cons.

The football story is obviously more Carleton-centric, but it’s also always great to a have recognizable figure on the cover. Also, the Lupe Fiasco photo was taken by a current volunteer, while the football one has been on file for years. These discussions and more were had at our editorial meeting.

I eventually suggested the double-cover concept, and everyone was very receptive. Our only concern in running a front and back cover was that the paper is already smaller in the summer (only 12 pages), and this would obviously lose us a page of content. We decided to run with it nonetheless, for two reasons.

We’ve all been talking about a push to the web the last few years, so there’s nothing wrong with having a good chunk of solid, web-exclusive content (the stories that didn’t make it to print end up becoming online exclusives). Secondly, as I mentioned in my previous post, I want to make sure we’re trying new things at The Charlatan this year. We want to push our boundaries and try to improve every day. To my knowledge, this concept is new. It probably won’t become a regular occurrence for us, but I think it worked in this case.

Overall, I’m happy with how things have gone this summer. We’ve improved every issue, and that’s the goal. Our website stats are up considerably (compared to this point last year) and we’re gaining new followers at a rapid pace on our various social media platforms. I hope this trend continues when September rolls around.

On a side note, today was also exciting for another reason. A huge CUSA story broke this afternoon. The current vice-president (internal) tried to remove 17 councillors from their seats on CUSA council. Our web editor saw some tweets about it, passed on the information, and our news team was on it. We had several updates on Twitter throughout the day, plus a full story that went online this evening.

Farhan Devji
Farhan Devji is an author, journalist, and communications professional based in Ottawa. His work has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, and the Montreal Gazette. Contact him directly at fdevji@gmail.com.

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